Conference Programme: Gendered Approaches to Violent Extremism and Terrorism: Building a Research Agenda

Monash University, Melbourne, 11 November 2019

The purpose of this conference is to bring together academics to present original research on the role of gender in terrorism and violent extremism. Monash GPS welcomes all papers on gender-related considerations in understanding terrorism and violent extremism from academics, PhD students and practitioners.

The conference is especially focused on understanding masculinities and femininities as dynamics in violent extremism. We welcome Professor Mia Bloom as a keynote speaker, who will be speaking on women and children in terrorism, and her new book, Small Arms: Children and Terrorism. We also welcome Dr. Noor Huda Ismail as keynote speaker, who will be focusing on his groundbreaking research on Indonesian masculinities and violent extremism.

The conference programme can be found here.

Mia BloomNoor Huda Ismail

Recent scholarship has become attentive to both men and women’s participation in violent extremism and terrorism, and how that participation may diverge. Despite the evolving and diverse roles of women and men in violent extremism, gender stereotypes continue to depict female terrorists as not ‘actual’ terrorists (enabling women and girls to evade detection and escape prosecution) and to perceive young men belonging to certain groups as primed for violent extremism. This conference seeks to interrogate how recent developments in the field - such as the proliferation of propaganda and online messaging, the “decline” or shifting presence of ISIS, the “rise” of the far-right, and the changing roles of women in terrorism necessitated a gendered understanding of radicalisation, participation, and of strategies to counter and prevent violent extremism. It intends to inspire a discussion of how women and men are affected by terrorism and violent extremism differently, and how involvement is influenced by gendered experiences and considerations.

Why is a gendered approach to understanding terrorism and violent extremism necessary now? How do the roles of men and women in terrorism differ? How do terrorist and violent extremist organisations tailor their propaganda differently to men and women? How does gender broaden our understanding of the links between violent extremism and everyday (gendered) violence, or reactionary or right wing political movements? What are the ways in which gender should be incorporated into countering and prevention of violent extremism strategies?

The theme should be considered broadly and extended to both local and international settings. We will consider papers on all topics involving the interplay of gender, terrorism and violent extremism (deadline for papers now closed).